Baltimore Orioles: Kevin Gausman’s gem snaps losing streak

Kevin Gausman started what the Baltimore Orioles hope is a long winning streak with his gem last night in Toronto. Gausman’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Gausman mesmerized Toronto hitters all night long. And for the most part, none of them ever really stood a chance.

This was the Kevin Gausman that the Orioles wanted to see for the entire season. 2017 has really been a tale of two years for Gausman in a way, as he struggled in the first half of the year. But he’s really stepped it up in the second half, and the Birds have really benefited from his quality starts. And it really makes you wonder if the O’s would be fighting for their playoff lives as much as they are right now if Gausman had been this strong all season.

However Oriole bats remained quiet. And that’s fine when you have a pitcher who was as dominant as Gausman was last night. But in general, it’s a concern moving forward. The O’s scored two runs in the entire game – in the first inning. Generally two early runs don’t stand up for an entire game like that, but in this case they did. The two runs were also unearned. But the fact is that they did score those two runs, and Toronto only netted one.

Beckham reached base to lead off the game off of an E5. Jones later smacked an RBI-double, followed by an RBI-triple by Mancini. And there are your two runs – both unearned. Toronto would cut the lead in half in the third on Urena’s RBI-double.

The O’s had other chances in this game, such as the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Yet they let Toronto off the hook. And I thought for sure that would come back to haunt them, even in the last of that fourth inning when Toronto had some traffic on the base paths. But Toronto returned the favor, letting the O’s off the hook.

But the story of the night was Gausman’s effort, and he gave credit to good scouting after the game in helping him along to win this game in the manner that he did (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Me and Caleb, we had a really good scouting report on these guys and I’ve had some good games against them this year, so it was more about me pitching toward my strengths and not necessarily their weaknesses. And that’s something I’ve really been focusing on doing more in the second half. Stroman was pitching today, so I know runs would be at a premium. Once we scored those two runs, I told myself, ‘Hey those are your runs, that’s all you’re going to get today,’ and you know, unfortunately, that’s the way it was. But luckily I was able to pound the strike zone and keep mixing my pitches and keep them off-balance.

The O’s now head to the Bronx for a four-game set with New York. Wade Miley gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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